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Full text of "Mathura A District Memoir"

QKXHNARY FATS OF  AHCI£i?T INSCRIPTIONS*                           165
justly be styled the palace of an emperor. One who saw its magnificence
(or the poet Shaukat on seeing It) composed this tarikk, so elegant a rest-house
makes even the flower garden envious.!J
Aa the building afforded such very scant accommodation, I proposed to
make It not a general,, but simply an architectural and antiquarian museum,
arranging In it, In chronological series, specimens of all the different styles that
have prevailed in the neighbourhood from the reign of the Indo-Scythian Ka-
mlshka. In the ceniury immediately before Christ, down to the Yietoriaa period
which would be illustrated in perfection by the building itself.
It cannot be denied that It is high time for some such institution to be
established \ for In an ancient city like Mathura Interesting relics of the past,
even when no definite search is "being made for them? are constantly cropping
up ; and unless there Is some easily accessible place to which they can be con-
signed for custody, they run an Imminent risk of being no sooner found than
destroyed. Inscriptions ID particular, despite their exceptional value in the
eyes of the antiquary, are more likely to perish than anything e!se3 since they
have no beauty to recommend them to the ordinary observer. Thus, as already
mentioned, a pillar, the whole surface of which is said to have been "covered
with writing, was found in 1860 In making a road on the site of the old city
wail. There was no one on the spot at the time who took any interest in such
matters, and the thrifty engineer,, thinking such a fine large block of stone ought
not to be wasted^ had It neatly squared and made Into a buttress for a bridge.
Another Inscribed fragment, which had formed the base of a large seated statue,
had been set up by a subordinate in the Public Works Department to protect a
culvert on the high road through cantonments, from which position I rescued it,
It bears the words HaMrajasya Dera-ptitrasva Huvishkasya rdjya sam. 50
he 3 di 2, and is of value as an unquestionably early example of the same
symbol, which in the inscription of doubtful age given at page 138 is
explained In words as denoting ' fifty.3 ^ third illustration of official Indiffer-
ence to archseological Interests, though here the culprit -was not an engineer,
but the Collector himself. Is afforded by the base of a pillar3 wMch3 after it
had been accidentally dug up, was plastered and whitewashed and imbedded
In one of the side pillars of the Tahsill gateway, where I re-discovered it,
when the gateway was pulled down to improve the approach. The words are
cut in, bold clear letters, which for tie most part admit of being deciphered with
certainty, as follows: Aycnn kum^haka ddnam bkiksfainam Suriyaq/a, S3uddl&a-
raksMttiq/a cha prahxtakdrutm. Awmtyamfy deya dkarmma pa.*..*.,.....warn. •
Sarvasa prakitaMnam art/a dakshxtaye bkavatv* The purport .of this would be;
42